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More than one offer: Which to accept?

Last updated on February 22, 2024

What to do when your property is resoundingly popular? Even if the potential buyers are over eager, there’s no reason to rush your decision. It’s entirely possible to receive several offers to purchase at once, and you are in no way obligated to answer them right away.

Remember that when you receive an offer to purchase, the seller and the buyer agree on the acceptance deadline, typically between 24 and 72 hours. But either party can arrange a different deadline, at their discretion.

No offers take priority

During this decision-making period, you might receive other purchase offers. Then what do you do? You may decide to negotiate or let the buyers enter a bidding war. As long as an offer has not been accepted, the potential buyers can increase their offers or change their purchase conditions.

In other words, no offer takes precedence, regardless if it’s the first you received or the highest offer price. The final choice is yours.

Verbal acceptance

When new visitors know that other buyers are interested in your property, they might rush to make an offer and expect an immediate answer. Be careful! A contract is considered in force as soon as you accept the purchase offer, even if you only do so verbally.

That means that if you have agreed on a price and conditions for the offer, the contract has been made. If the conditions are met, you are required to appear before a notary to close the transaction. The written offer to purchase is proof of this contract for the bank, for example, when the buyer requests a mortgage.

Consequently, it is not recommended to accept a purchase offer verbally as long as you are not sure you want to agree to the proposal. When you receive several offers to purchase, it’s best to agree on a response deadline that will give you time to analyze the offers on the table and make a carefully weighed decision.

If you receive a second offer but have already accepted the first one, the 72-hour clause may apply.

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